Kurt Brodmann -- The Story of the Brodmann Family

Kurt Brodmann tells the story of his family: how his father Leopold, an actor, fell in love with Franzi Goldstaub, who was sitting in the audience. Franzi came from an orthodox family and her parents would not let her marry an actor.
Because he was so much in love, Leopold gave up his acting career and went into business.
Leopold and Franzi raised two sons. During the war, one son, Harry, fled to England; Kurt emigrated to Palestine, while their parents found refuge in Shanghai. There, Franzi opened a cafe and Leopold became an actor once again. After the war, the family was reunited in Vienna.

Study Guides


Kurt says that his parents grew up in the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Empire covered much of Central Europe, including today's Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Transylvania (now in Romania), and parts of Italy, former Yugoslavia and Poland. 


On June 28, 1914, the heir to the Austrian-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, prompting Austria-Hungary to declare war on Serbia. This action mobilized alliances across Europe and triggered World War One, in which Kurt’s father fought.


Kurt's mother came from Lemberg, or Lvov - a town that is now situation in western Ukraine. It was once part of a region called Galicia, which was ruled by Austria-Hungary from 1772 until its incorporation into interwar Poland in 1918. Today, the region is divided between Poland and the Ukraine. No country of the Austrian monarchy had such a varied ethnic mix as Galicia: Poles, Ukrainians, Jews, Germans, Armenians, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians, Roma, etc.


Kurt's parents settled in Vienna, the capital of Austria, where Kurt and his brother were born and raised. 

Vienna dates back to the Roman Empire, at which point it began to grow and develop into a European economic, political, and cultural capital. 


Kurt's brother left Vienna for England on a Kinderstransport (German for children transport). Around 10,000 children from Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland were sent without their parents to England, where they were able to survive the war. 

In 2008, a sculpture was erected in the main train station in Vienna commemorating the Jewish Viennese Children who were able to escape via the Kindertransport. 


Kurt's parents escaped to Shanghai, China - before 1939 one did not require a visa in order to enter Shanghai. Read more about German and Austrian refugees in Shanghai


Kurt Brodmann escaped to Palestine (today Israel) via ship. During this time Palestine was under British mandate. Although in Zionist ideology Palestine was considered a Jewish holy land, immigration was restricted.

The term "Aliyah" describes Jewish immigration to Israel. 

Lesson plans for this film

9 results
For grades Documents

Kurt Brodmann: "Viennese Jewry In The 1930s"


In this lesson about "Viennese Jewry in the 1930’s", students will learn about early Zionism and Jewish life in Austria in the first part of the 20th Century.  Students...

Kurt Brodmann: "Exploring My Past: An Autobiographical Project


Kurt Brodmann: Discussion points


The family - The root gives life to a tree. The family gives life to mankind.


Grade of Class:

primary school students aged 11-12 students 13-14 and their parents Number of students in one class: 15 to 17

The familyThe root gives life to a tree...


Die Geschichte der Familie Brodmann - Interaktives Filmskript


The Story of the Brodmann Family- Interactive Film Script


The interactive film scripts combine the scripts of the Centropa Films with the links metioned in the Study Guides, thus marking various historical, cultural and geographical references.

You can use...

Homeland Project

other projects

This project will introduce you to editing in Adobe Premiere Pro, while letting you explore a social/historical issue. This issue affected many Jews in the 20th Century and is...


Analyzing a Centropa Film

other projects

Teachers use this activity for any project where students are asked to create a story on film or another visual presentation (Prezi, PowerPoint), including the Virtual Walking Tour project (students...


Együtt élve a történelemmel

Feladatbank, Óraterv
German language, History, Sociology

Az óraterv  bemutatja a közép-európai zsidóság 20. századi sorsát, a Shoát. Az órák legfontosabb célja a létező előítéletek okainak feltárása, megbeszélése és oldása, akár egy tanórai vita keretében is. Ennek...

11, 12